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Outdoor Adventure Goals for 2011

To quote Gwen Bell, “When you write your goals the whole world opens up in front of you.”  I couldn’t agree more.  It is pretty easy to lose sight of your goals and dreams when you become immersed in daily life, but it is pretty amazing how powerful your dreams become once you commit them to page.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to start listing your goals whether it be places you want to visit, things you want to accomplish, or mountains you want to conquer. So instead of resolutions this year, why not start the new year off by making a list of your outdoor adventure goals for the year so you can get planning and on your way to ticking these babies off.

Sean Ogle recommends that you include something on your list that you can do today. This helps you get rid of that “someday” mindset, you know that belief that someday you are going to get around to doing all the things you want to do. So maybe it is best to create multiple lists. Perhaps you would like to create a bucket list of all the trails you would like to hike or countries you would like to visit during your life. Then make a list of five you can do in the next year and start planning when you would like to do the others.

If you get stuck and need some ideas head over to 43 Things, the popular website where people list their goals and connect with others to make things happen in their life. You can browse other’s life lists and then when you are ready you can make a list of 43 things you would like to accomplish and post it publicly for the world to see.

For inspiration, I also love reading lists like BootsnAll’s 10 Destinations for Independent Travelers in 2011 and the National Geographic’s Top 100 American Adventures. I certainly don’t have any problems finding items to add to my life list. My problem is more with narrowing down the list down to a few accomplishable goals so I don’t get too overwhelmed by the immensity of my list and accomplish nothing. Well I narrowed my bucket list down to five doable goals for 2011 and here they are in no particular order:

1) Run a 50-mile Trail Race – Last year I ran my first 50K and swore that I would never run anything more than that. Well now if the Moab Red Hot 55K that I am doing next month goes well I am going to step it up to a 50-miler sometime this summer. Why? Because I simply want to know if I can do it. I would love to run the Bishop High Sierra Ultra or the Big Horn 50-miler. If I end up doing a 50-miler this year, I can honestly say 50-miles is as far as I am ever going to go.

2) Hike the Inca TrailHiking to Machu Picchu has been at the top of my list for an embarrassingly long time. I am not sure when the Inca calendar predicts the end of the world, but I still feel like I should get to Machu Picchu by 2012. The classic Inca Trail passes by many ancient sites before arriving at the magical site of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu and I plan to hike the trail myself next fall.

3) Explore Utah’s Grand Gulch
– My days in Utah are numbered so I need to get out and see as much of this beautiful state as I can before parting from it sometime this summer. The Grand Gulch is located in a remote section of southeastern Utah and can only be accessed by foot or pack animal. The area was once home to the Ancient Anasazi and due to it’s remoteness, the gulch is filled with incredibly preserved ancient sites, rock art, and artifacts.

4) Climb a Desert Tower – I’ve never been much of a trad climber, but I’ve been learning the basics so I can climb a desert tower in the spring. I can’t put into words how much I absolutely love the red rock country of Southern Utah and how much I absolutely detest climbing the sandstone crack characteristic of red rock country. I just want to get myself up one of those slender slivery towers to view the immense beauty of the Colorado Plateau from a different angle.

5) Hike the West Coast Trail – To celebrate my relocation the Pacific Northwest, I would love to take a hike down the West Coast Trail. Touted as one of the best hikes in all the world, the West Coast Trail follows the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Leigh McAdam from HikeBikeTravel has an excellent dowloadable guide for the West Coast Trail. Oh and I have to renew my passport pronto, it expires in just a few months.

So make a list of what you want to accomplish in 2011, post them to your blog, and share the link below.

Photos courtesy of lululemon, ultrarob, kudomomo, cerrahg, cba_inc, and Paula Reedyk